Bringing Good Moods to our Customers—One Way or Another
The Good Mood was named for that peaceful easy feeling you get being surrounded by nature. It was bright and cheery in color scheme and its unofficial theme song was James Brown’s “Get on the Good Foot.” When the design for SOM's first natural fiber shoe was finalized, everyone was thrilled. We were so excited that we rushed ahead, eager to share this shoe with its fresh looks that offered what our co-founder Nathalie had been looking forward to for so long. If names are supposed to affect your future, the Good Mood attracted the opposite. Rather than being full of the calming vibes of sitting in the grass on a sunny day, this model managed to have trouble follow it around like a rain cloud.
When revamping our manufacturing process, we made a number of improvements. Improvements mean changes and changes usually mean unknowns. These unknowns took many forms across all aspects of our production. We won’t bore you with the details (unless you call us looking for a good story) but at the end of the day, a perfect storm of situations had pushed our timeline further and further back till eventually we didn’t have one.
Our customers are a special breed and we are incredibly grateful for that. We were transparent about our delays and our progress. Most of our customers were more than understanding—a number even offered encouragement. When you are serving people who are so supportive of your business and your mission, the desire to always do right by them is constant and strong.
In the face of all the Good Mood challenges, and with such great respect for our customers, we made the difficult decision to not move forward with the model. We have been in constant contact with our individual customers to find solutions that work for everyone. Throughout it all, we could not have asked for a better group of people to stand with us.
You can never be certain what reactions we will get when we share news, but for us our customers are the most important part of our company. We believe that maintaining an open conversation, no matter how difficult or unpleasant the topic, is the best way to keep everyone in—dare we say it?—a good mood.
Feeling Good in the Norwood
Despite all of our troubles with the Good Mood, we are pleased that the Norwood is continuing to make positive impressions as they go out. As the fulfillment of our pre-orders draws to a close, we are beginning to consistently receive feedback.
A couple of our recent favorites include:
- Got the shoes today, they are amazing!! Beautiful and comfortable- This is what American Craftsmanship is all about.
Great fit, great feel, made in USA- best sneakers I've ever had.
- Believe I am the first pair of size 16 and very grateful you are making my size now. It’s like someone snuck in and measured my feet before you made the shoes.
To round out our collection of recent feedback, enjoy a resoling comment for good measure: “I don’t know what you did to my shoes, but they feel like slippers that I can ride my bike with. Thanks!”
Feedback is an important part of our process of making quality shoes. We welcome both positive and negative feedback and always look for ways to grow from both. If you feel like letting us know how your SOMs are doing reach out!
The Right Shoe Size
We still get a number of handwritten letters delivered to the factory from feet looking for the right shoe size. Foot tracings may seem an outdated way to find the right shoe fit, but for those with difficult to fit feet, it can be a good start. Learn more about how we use foot tracings as a tool in the online shoe store world, check out our blog.
Our shoes run generally true to standard American sizing, though even “standard sizing” differs significantly across brands. When looking for the best fit in our shoe, we will suggest to go with the size you usually wear as a good starting point. We are committed to working with our customers through however many exchanges are necessary to be sure your feet are happy.
SOM-mer in Our Community—Events Galore!
The first day of summer arrives in June and Colorado is gearing up for an active season and SOM Footwear is ready to participate in our local community events. June sees a number of fun events coming through Montrose and the surrounding region. Ride the Rockies, a 7 day cycling tour through Southwest Colorado, makes its stop in Montrose June 15th. The towns along the route get to open their doors and their Main Streets to host the cyclists as they pass through. After a well deserved “short” day for the participants (only 33 miles), we are opening extended hours for factory tours and outlet store visits before joining the group for the downtown block party.
Ride the Rockies. Image courtesy of the Denver Post.
Later in the month we will be present at the Ridgway River Fest, celebrating the Uncompahgre River half an hour upstream. We’re looking forward to spending the weekend on the banks of the river while helping to raise funds for the Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership. If you are in the area, be sure to stop by!
While we’re always pleased to when our customers find us from all corners of the U.S., we especially enjoy when those around the corner discover their hometown shoe factory. Our local community is an important source of inspiration and support for us; we are glad to be able to give back to it.
Just a Little Bit Crazy
Starting a shoe factory in the USA could be considered just as crazy as running a marathon in every National Park. We feel an affinity with those who decide to head in an unknown direction and off the beaten path. That’s why we are excited to welcome Bill Sycalik to our corner of Colorado. He has challenged himself to run a marathon in each of the 59 National Parks and will be at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison at the end of June. You can follow his progress here and even join him for a couple of miles in a park near you!
Bill in Rocky Mountain National Park
Enjoy a beautiful June!
Want to stay in the loop? Signing up for our newsletter is the best way!
SOM Sense of Motion Footwear
1006 N. Cascade, Montrose, CO
Outlet store open Thursdays from 9-5 | Factory tours by appointment
Thanks for your feedback on the Norwoods. While many of the materials and much of the design is the same as the SP-L3s, there are differences that will affect the feel. I’ll be following up with you via email to discuss further—some of our best design ideas come directly from our customers!
I have had my new pair of Norwoods for a few weeks now. There are alot of things I like about them, but I really like the SP-L3 model better. I wish you would consider bringing them back! I prefer 5 eyelets to 6, I feel the Norwood is a bit too low cut, and really like the fit of SP-L3’s better. I also prefer the materials SP-L3’s are made of more. And the tongue of the shoe. Thanks for listening.
Thanks for your great blog and updates on what SOM is doing!
So happy to have you here in Montrose and for your quality craftsmanship and support of the community! Nice work, great content and good marketing!